Saturday, October 14, 2017

'X: 40 Years of Punk' exhibit opens at Grammy Museum in Los Angeles

A new Grammy Museum at L.A. Live exhibit, "X: 40 Years of Punk," debuted on Oct. 13 with a special sold out program featuring an interview and a rare rooftop performance by the influential SoCal rock band.

Moderated by Scott Goldman, the museum's executive director, the 45-minute chat covered the group's arrival during the nascent 1970s punk scene, regular gigs at The Masque, songwriting influences and methods, landing a record deal, working with producer Ray Manzarek of The Doors and the evolution of X's sound. 

One particularly memorable story revolved around how a large brown aluminum 'X' in one of the new exhibit displays was obtained: co-lead singer/bassist John Doe got it in New York City, when an Ex-Lax (chocolate laxative) company building was being torn down.

The special concert was prefaced by special plaque presentations relating to the city of Los Angeles declaring "X Day" earlier in the week. For the sharp hour-long set, X tore into such college and alt-rock radio staples as "White Girl," "Hungry Wolf," "Los Angeles" as well as fan favorites "Johnny Hit & Run Pauline," "The World's a Mess (It's in My KIss)" and cover of The Doors' "Soul Kitchen."

On a pair of more laid back numbers, guitarist Billy Zoom switched between his usual instrument and saxophone, while drummer DJ Bonebrake moved over to vibraphone. Zoom, smiling broadly, was quite cognizant of fans near the stage front and could be seen asking if they were having fun. Co-lead singer Exene acknowledged old female friends in the crowd.
Longtime X enthusiasts have plenty to marvel at when they visit the exhibit. There are handwritten lyrics and notebooks by Exene and John, original concert flyers for L.A. shows,
rare photos and artwork by Exene, clothing (Billy's frequently spray painted silver jacket, dresses, t-shirts), personal items (fan crafted badges, a typewriter taken on tour for lyric writing), original instruments and gear played by the band, X: The Unheard Music film and more.

"X: 40 Years of Punk" is on display through March 2018. The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live is at 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite A245, Los Angeles. For more info, call (213) 765-6800 or go to
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:30 AM - 6:30 PM, Sat-Sun 10:00 AM - 6:30 PM

Friday, October 13, 2017

Out now: Robert Plant's 'Carry Fire'

Robert Plant has announced North American dates on his upcoming world tour celebrating the release of his new album Carry Fire, which arrives via Nonesuch/Warner Bros. on Friday.

Album track “Bluebirds Over The Mountain” was written by rockabilly musician Ersel Hickey and later recorded by both Richie Valens and The Beach Boys. It features special guest Chrissie Hynde joining Plant on vocals. The track is accompanied by a striking companion visual, streaming now at Plant’s official YouTube channel (as are companion videos for both “The May Queen” and “Bones of Saints.”


The live dates are on sale now. Additional dates will be announced soon. For updates, please visit Every ticket purchased online will be joined by either a physical or digital copy of the new album. Instructions on how to redeem the album will be emailed after ticket purchase.

Plant's 11th solo album and first full-length release since 2014’s acclaimed lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar, Carry Fire was produced by Plant in the west of England at Top Cat Studio in Box, Wiltshire, with additional recordings at Real World Studios and Rockfield Studios in Monmouthshire, Wales.

As before, Plant is accompanied by The Sensational Space Shifters: Justin Adams on guitar, acoustic guitar, oud, E-bow quartet, percussion, snare drum, tambourine; John Baggott on keyboards, moog, loops, percussion, drums, brass arrangement, t’bal, snare drum, slide guitar, piano, electric piano, bendir; Billy Fuller on bass, keyboards and drum programming; Dave Smith on bendir, tambourine, djembe, drum kit; and Liam “Skin” Tyson on dobro, guitar, acoustic guitar, pedal steel, twelve-string.

Plant and the Space Shifters are joined on Carry Fire by a number of special guests, including the aforementioned Chrissie Hynde, Albanian cellist Redi Hasa, and acclaimed musician Seth Lakeman, who contributes viola and fiddle to three tracks. Lakeman will join the Sensational Space Shifters on all upcoming world tour dates.

Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters spent nearly two years on the road together supporting lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar.

“It’s about intention,” says Plant. “I respect and relish my past works but each time I feel the trawl and incentive to create new work. I must mix old with new. Consequently the whole impetus of the band has moved on its axis somewhat, the new sound and different space giving way to exciting and dramatic landscapes of mood, melody and instrumentation”.

TOUR 2018

9 – Raleigh, NC – Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
11 – Charlotte, NC – Ovens Auditorium
12 – Norfolk, VA – Chrysler Hall
14 – New York, NY – Beacon Theatre
16 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre
17 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
20 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre
22 – Minneapolis, MN – Orpheum Theatre
24 – Denver, CO – Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre
26 – Phoenix, AZ – Symphony Hall
28 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater

2 – Los Angeles, CA – Orpheum Theatre

Track listing:

1. The May Queen
2. New World…
3. Season’s Song
4. Dance With You Tonight
5. Carving Up The World Again… a wall and not a fence
6. A Way With Words
7. Carry Fire
8. Bones Of Saints
9. Keep It Hid
10. Bluebirds Over The Mountain
11. Heaven Sent

Out now: Stars' 'There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light'

Stars' new album, There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light is out now via Last Gang Records/eOne. Stars have select live dates planned for November (see below).

It partnered with Plus 1 and Native Women's Shelter of Montreal/Foyer Pour Femmes so that $1 from every ticket goes towards providing indigenous women and their children a safe and supportive environment through the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal. For more information and ticket details visit Stars' website.

The album, produced by Peter Katis (The National, Jonsi), marks the first time the band relinquished creative control to another, outside the band. "This record seemed to have an undeniable momentum from the start," says Katis. He adds, "Even my being turned away by Canadian border police for the second round of tracking couldn't slow us down. Stars is a complex organism with a long history. They are a combination of personalities simultaneously in conflict and harmony, ultimately coming together to make a really cool record. It feels fresh and new to me. I'm really proud of what we did. Bon travail a tous!"

"Pop song pepper spray," describes Amy Millan of the song "Real Thing," adding "In a world where we are targeted daily and consistently let down in the courts of consent. The laymen continue to write laws on our organs. 'Real Thing' is a 'she said' for singing as loud as you can."

A 'Dinner With Stars' documentary was made by Anthony Seck: 

The album cover art by U.S. artist Rob Carmichael is a contrasting display of the modern world superimposing itself on top of the ancient.

Stars are: Torquil Campbell, Evan Cranley, Amy Millan, Chris McCarron, Patty McGee and Chris Seligman.

Track list:

1. Privilege
2. Fluorescent Light
3. Losing To You
4. Hope Avenue
5. Alone
6. We Called It Love
7. Real Thing
8. The Gift Of Love
9. On The Hills
10. The Maze
11. California, I Love That Name
12. Wanderers

Tour dates:

11/16 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
11/17 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
11/18 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
11/22 - Toronto, ON @ The Great Hall
11/23 - Toronto, ON @ The Great Hall
11/28 - Los Angeles, CA @ Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
11/29 - Los Angeles, CA @ Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
11/30 - Los Angeles, CA @ Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings news

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' final studio album, Soul of a Woman, is due Nov. 17 on Daptone Records. It was recorded to eight-track tape at Daptone's House of Soul studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Watch the music video for "Matter of Time" here: 

Prior to her death from pancreatic cancer in 2016, Sharon Jones was nominated for her first Grammy award for the 2014 release, Give The People What They Want, toured and performed tirelessly, and was the subject of Miss Sharon Jones!, an acclaimed documentary by Oscar-winning director Barbara Kopple. Yet somehow, the soul singer found time to complete a studio album. 

"The last couple of years, Sharon was battling," says Dap-Kings bass player Bosco Mann, who produced the album, in a press release. "When she was strongest, that’s when we'd go into the studio— Sharon couldn't phone it in, so we would only work when she was really feeling it." 

Mann explains that the songs on Soul of a Woman are the result of two different sides of Jones's singing. Initially, the idea for the album was to focus on more string-driven ballads, possibly leading to a tour incorporating symphonies or string sections. But as the band realized that Sharon might not have a lot of time left, they decided to record some more up-tempo and bluesy material to give her the kind of funky stuff on which she really feasted on stage.

The selections on this album balance these elements, presenting a full picture of her range: "Side one is the more raw live side," says Mann, "while side two is more moody and orchestrated—more of a departure from her carnivorous live persona."

Track list:

Matter of Time
Sail On!
Just Give Me Your Time
Come and Be a Winner
Pass Me By
Searching for a New Day
These Tears (No Longer for You)
When I Saw Your Face
Girl! (You Got to Forgive Him)
Call on God


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Sting 'Live in Paris' coming to home video

Sting: Live At The Olympia Paris will be released Nov. 10 on DVD, blu-ray and digital download via Eagle Vision/Cherrytree. Physical pre-orders are open now. It was recorded last April and includes selections from across the 16x Grammy winner’s career, notably songs from his latest album 57th & 9th and classic hits from The Police as well as Sting’s solo career.

He is joined onstage by a 4-piece band including his longtime guitarist Dominic Miller, Josh Freese (drums), Rufus Miller (guitar) and Percy Cardona (accordion), with backing vocals from son Joe Sumner plus Diego Navaira & Jerry Fuentes of The Last Bandoleros. Bonus content features 9 performances from Sting and special guests.

The sold out 57th & 9th World Tour has encompassed 115 concerts throughout North America, Asia, Latin America & Europe and concludes Oct. 17 in Romania. 57th & 9th was released in November 2016 by A&M/Interscope Records, and was a Top 10 album in multiple countries around the globe.

Track listing: 

1. Synchronicity II 
2. Spirits in the Material World
3. Englishman in New York
4. I Can’t Stop Thinking About You
5. One Fine Day
6. She’s Too Good for Me
7. I Hung My Head
8. Fields of Gold
9. Petrol Head
10. Down, Down, Down
11. Shape of My Heart
12. Pretty Young Soldier
13. Message in a Bottle
14. Ashes to Ashes
15. 50,000
16. Walking on the Moon
17. So Lonely
18. Desert Rose
19. Roxanne / Ain’t No Sunshine
20. Next to You
21. Every Breath You Take
22. Fragile

Bonus Features
Sting & Joe Sumner:
1. Heading South On The Great North Road

Joe Sumner:
2. Looking For Me, Looking For You
3. Don’t Change The Love
4. Jellybean

The Last Bandoleros:
5. Maria
6. River Man
7. Take Me To It
8. I Don’t Want To Know
9. Where Do You Go?

Posthumous acoustic reissue from Asia's John Wetton out now

John Wetton was the lead singer/bassist of ASIA, UK and the "Red" era of King Crimson, with an extensive solo catalogue. This 2-CD set AKUSTIKA – LIVE IN AMERIKA & AKUSTIKA II – RETURN TO AMERIKA includes a 2017 remaster of the acoustic album AKUSTIKA and a previously unreleased acoustic show from 2005.

The booklet features specially written recollections of close friends and fans who attended the 2005 show with previously unseen photographs. The release is on the imprint label John Wetton started during his lifetime, Primary Purpose, via Cherry Red Records.

John Wetton rose to fame with King Crimson in the early 70s during the iconic Red era and later formed the band UK. In the early 1980s he was a founder member of supergroup ASIA which was his biggest commercial success. The band’s 1982 self-titled debut album was the biggest selling album in the world that year and gave fans and mainstream radio the mega-hit “Heat of the Moment.”

He also enjoyed a successful solo career, including the seminal album Battle Lines, and formed iCon with ASIA bandmate Geoff Downes. In 2006 the original line-up of ASIA reformed and toured the world several times to promote four new studio albums.

Wetton passed away last January after a long battle against colon cancer. This new release was personally selected before his passing as one of the many back catalogue titles to be reissued in the near future.

Track list:

5. 30 YEARS


Released October 6, 2017.

To purchase:
Amazon CD:

John Wetton's official website:

R.E.M.'s 'Automatic For The People' to get deluxe reissue treatment

R.E.M. are reissuing their landmark album Automatic For The People to commemorate the title’s 25th Anniversary. Due Nov. 10 via Craft Recordings, the remastered album will be available in a variety of formats, the most extensive of which is the Deluxe Anniversary Edition, which will feature the album in its entirety mixed in Dolby Atmos. A short trailer with members of the band may be viewed and shared HERE.

The album (plus bonus track “Photograph,” featuring Natalie Merchant) was remixed in Dolby Atmos by Automatic’s original producer, Scott Litt, and engineer, Clif Norrell. This technology delivers a leap forward from surround sound with expansive, flowing audio that immerses the listener far beyond what stereo can offer. It transports the listener inside the recording studio with multi-dimensional audio—evoking a time when listening to music was an active, transformative experience, and reigniting the emotion you felt when you first heard the album in 1992. R.E.M.’s Automatic For The People is the first album to be commercially released in this expressive, breathtaking format.

In addition, the 4-disc Deluxe Edition will offer a wealth of previously unreleased material. The band selected 20 never-before-heard demosfrom the LP’s sessions, including the fully-realized, unreleased track “Mike’s Pop Song” and the oft-mused-about song, “Devil Rides Backwards.” “Mike’s Pop Song” debuts today and is available as an instant grat track with preorder of the reissue. Stream or share the track HERE and preorder the album HERE.

Also included in both the 2-disc 25th Anniversary and Deluxe Edition of the album—which was remastered from the original analog tapes by Stephen Marcussen—is a full live set, Live At The 40 Watt Club 11/19/92. Performed in R.E.M.’s hometown of Athens, GA, it was the band’s only live show that year.

Housed in a 12” x 12” lift-top box, the Deluxe Anniversary Edition features a 60-page book, offering never-before-seen photos by Anton Corbijn and Melodie McDaniel, plus expanded, new liner notes by Scottish music journalist Tom Doyle who conducted new interviews with all four band members. Also included is a companion Blu-ray, offering the Dolby Atmos mix, plus a high-resolution master of Automatic For The People, seven music videos and the original 1992 EPK video. Automatic For The People will also be reissued on 180-gram vinyl (with digital download card), and will be available across all digital and streaming outlets.

Widely regarded as one of the best rock albums of all time, Automatic For The People, R.E.M.’s eighth studio outing, was recorded in session locations ranging from New Orleans to Seattle, and Athens, GA to Miami. Rolling Stone has ranked Automatic For The People on their list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” Notable contributions to the record come from Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones who provided string arrangements on select tracks. After its release in 1992 the record reached #1 on UK charts and #2 in the US, selling over eighteen million copies worldwide. It also received 1994 Grammy nominations for Album of the Year and Best Alternative Music Album with major singles “Man on the Moon” and “Everybody Hurts” garnering Grammy nods as well.

Michael Stipe has since reflected that the album concerns topics of “mortality and dying,” but he further notes, “Mortality is a theme that writers have chosen to work with throughout time. It speaks of the fragility and beauty of life and living life to the fullest in the present moment. It happens all too quickly and we all know that.” Mike Mills asserts, “I think it’s our most cohesive record…It’s the strongest from first to last.”

Following the success of their multi-platinum Out of Time in 1991, the band’s reputation was skyrocketing with critics and fans alike. However, R.E.M.’s decision not to tour behind it, and with no plan to tour its successor, the band chose to push further into unexplored sonic territory. The recording was thus characterized by experimentation and playfulness in the studio resulting in a largely acoustic sound full of eerie and ambiguous commentary on the nature of mainstream fame they’d recently found. To this day, songs like “Everybody Hurts,” “Drive,” “Nightswimming” and “Man on the Moon,” as well as lesser known but sublime songs like “Try Not To Breathe” and “Monty Got a Raw Deal,” still resonate throughout the collective music and pop culture.

Formed in 1980, the legendary group went on to win multiple Grammys and produce 15 studio albums, plus many others including greatest hits and live documents. Noted for both their profound contributions to the alternative rock genre and their status as one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all time, the band’s three-decade long career remains a legacy of music that defined an era and a model for musicians paving their own career path. R.E.M. (comprised of Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe) was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007 before disbanding amicably in 2011.

(DISCS 1, 2, 3 & 4)

(DISCS 1 & 2)

Disc 1 – Automatic For The People
1. Drive
2. Try Not to Breathe
3. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite
4. Everybody Hurts
5. New Orleans Instrumental No. 1
6. Sweetness Follows
7. Monty Got A Raw Deal
8. Ignoreland
9. Star Me Kitten
10. Man on the Moon
11. Nightswimming
12. Find the River

Disc 2 – Live At The 40 Watt Club
1. Drive
2. Monty Got A Raw Deal
3. Everybody Hurts
4. Man On The Moon
5. Losing My Religion
6. Country Feedback
7. Begin The Begin
8. Fall On Me
9. Me In Honey
10. Finest Worksong
11. Love Is All Around
12. Funtime
13. Radio Free Europe

Disc 3 – Automatic For The People Demos
1. Drive (demo)
2. Wake Her Up (demo)
3. Mike’s Pop Song (demo)
4. C to D Slide 13 (demo)
5. Cello Scud (demo)
6. 10K Minimal (demo)
7. Peter’s New Song (demo)
8. Eastern 983111 (demo)
9. Bill’s Acoustic (demo)
10. Arabic Feedback (demo)
11. Howler Monkey (demo)
12. Pakiderm (demo)
13. Afterthought (demo)
14. Bazouki Song (demo)
15. Photograph (demo)
16. Michael’s Organ (demo)
17. Pete’s Acoustic Idea (demo)
18. 6-8 Passion & Voc (demo)
19. Hey Love [Mike voc] (demo)
20. Devil Rides Backwards (demo)

Disc 4 – Automatic For The People Blu-Ray
1. Automatic For The People (+ bonus track: Photograph) mixed in Dolby Atmos
2. Automatic For The People (+ bonus track: Photograph) Hi-Resolution Audio
3. Drive (music video)
4. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite (music video)
5. Everybody Hurts (music video)
6. Man On The Moon (music video)
7. Nightswimming (music video: British version)
8. Find The River (music video)
9. Nightswimming (music video: R version)
10. Automatic Press Kit